Red has connotations of;
Red is used by quite a variety of different organisations to represent different aspects of their company, HSBC bank uses it to represent their strength and power,
The ESPN logo plays on the energy, strength, power and determination connotations of red. It is also often found in white on a dark red background. This could indicate perfection, safety, coolness, willpower, vigour & willpower. 32Red, a gambling site uses it to represent the passion of the game and the desire to win money. Vodafone would use it to indicate the power they have among their competitors and their determination to be the best. Coca-Cola branding built on the american dream, by buying their product you are also buying into the whole ideology of coke being something that represents the american people. Coke would like you to feel passion, desire, love and courage when drinking coke, this is also reflected in their branding.
Pink is a very feminine colour, so it is somewhat difficult to find a use in many branding examples but Barbie, cosmopolitan, Pink Floyd, Australian Pork and Pink Panther have all found their own uses for the colour. Pink Floyd and Pink Panther have no relevance to the colour other than the fact it is simple in the brand name, therefore it makes sense to use the colour. Australian Pork uses the colour because it simply represents the animal they sell, an icon of the snout of the pig in their skin colour, pink, symbolises them well. Cosmopolitan uses the colour because it targets a female audience, the content of their magazine and website is usually about romance, love and friendship. The barbie logo is pink and plays on all the connotations of the colour, targeted at young girls, giving them an idealistic to look up too, to aim for. The word Barbie is actually greek for “Dry” which is a flowers name. Becoming feminine and playing on the romance, friendship and love side of things with “ken”.
Orange has connotations of;
– Sexual passion
Adobe Illustrator is a logo that uses the colours orange & brown to portray creativity, determination, success, encouragement and stability. These are all things you would want from a creative art program. An excerpt from Alan Male’s book “Illustration, a theoretical and conceptual perspective” reads;
“Illustration have a long history, it has been in existence for centuries, but only been recognised as a distinct discipline fairly recently. It is often confused with other disciplines most notably that of graphic design and fine art, perhaps because there is sometimes an overlap. However: illustration is about communicating a specific contextualised message to an audience. It is rooted in an objective need to fulfil a particular task. Illustrators need to have knowledge, understanding and insight regarding the context within which they are working, the subject matter, and work within the parameters and needs of the target audience.”.
I believe this only proves further that the logo is orange and brown for the reasons of attracting creativity, happiness and determination.
Orange logo is very straightforward and simple, it wants to attract fascination within its products so that people are stimulated by the services and encouraged to buy the product itself. The logo is very straightforward and relies upon the colour for most of it’s branding.
The fanta drink logo uses the colour orange to its advantage very well as it has connotations of joy, sunshine, tropical, happiness, attraction and healthiness which are all things the company would want to portray to its customers to gain more sales.
There are also two technology companies Walkman and Rockstar, which are both two companies similar in appeal, one creates mp3 players, while the over creates games. They aspire to use the connotations of enthusiasm, encouragement and stimulation while using their services.
Yellow has connotations of;
Food chain McDonalds use yellow in their famous M sign to indicate joy, happiness, energy and cheerfulness which are all emotions people feel when eating their product. Best Buy is an american supermarket chain which again uses the same emotions to make people want to shop there.
Shell has an interesting colour palette in their logo as to indicate the energy they produce with a shell of red and a centre of yellow. Yellow Pages is a book filled with businesses, which has now transferred to the web, the book literally had yellow pages but the connotations in the sense of this business would make an intellectual book full of cheerful businesses.
Green has connotations of;
– Money (Dark Green)
Green is used by a various companies from different areas of market. Starbucks use the colour to embellish the nature, growth, freshness of the coffee bean process. They could possibly be using hope to make people believe their day starts with a coffee. In the technology sector we have Sony Ericsson, Android & Spotify who all want their company to be represented with connotations of fresh, endurance and growth. Finally there is Asda using green to ensure the customers know it is a stable company with safe and fresh products.
Blue has connotations of;
A lot of technology companies use blue in their logo to portray stability, trust & responsibility. Religiously Mary is known to wear blue robes. Twitter, Intel & Dell all great examples of companies that use the colour blue to portray these feelings to their users. Meanwhile at the same time blue can also feel very corporate, with similar connotations of strength, responsibility & stability ANZ, a New Zealand bank uses these colours.
Again a slightly different meaning can be taken from the Volkswagen logo where they are trying to portray trust, cleanliness and masculinity. As you can see from the advert which portrays a middle aged businessman, their target audience. Therefore the connotations of the colour fit perfectly for the logo.
Purple has connotations of;
– Nostalgic feelings
– Sad Feelings
The Yahoo logo doesn’t really relate to too many of the connotations of these colours other than independence and creativity, last year in 2013, they ran a “30 Days of Change” campaign where the CEO Marissa Mayer would join the in house design team to create a new logo for 30 days straight, and decide out of the best. You can see them all here:
She stated “We didn’t want to have any straight lines in the logo. Straight lines don’t exist in the human form and are extremely rare in nature, so the human touch in the logo is that all the lines and forms all have at least a slight curve.” The logo they chose was this one:
The public were asked to vote and here are the results out of a total of 3,401 people:
The colour purple is also used by Monster job search site to indicate it’s powerful job search function, the reason it even exists.
Cadbury and Game use the colour in similar ways because they are both the biggest brand within their market they use it to represent their power and creativity whilst being again being a luxury rather than a necessity.
White has connotations of;
Black has connotations of;
– The Unknown
– Symbol of Grief
Schwarzkopf hair & beauty products have a professional logo to represent them, they have kept their logo in black and white as it indicates purity, cleanliness, elegance and authority. The reasons they would want this obvious as they target 25-35 year-old women.
WWF stands for WorldWide Fund for nature, they use the connotations of safety, cleanliness, death and almost is a symbol of grief, on one hand they represent the good that they do to help nature but on the the other hand they need to represent all the bad things that are happening to nature around the world, therefore the colours do a really good job of representing the organisation.
Adidas logo is three stripes are meant to represent a mountain, and the challenges that lie ahead should you choose to climb it, a perfect logo in representation of the sports products they sell but they use black and white as their primary colours, wanting to us the connotations of safety, coolness, strength and prestigious to represent them.
Nike logo, usually called “swoosh,” the famous tick is a brilliant logo that no longer requires any words next to it because it is now instantly recognisable coloured in the same ways as competitor company adidas uses the same connotation of safety, coolness, strength and prestigious.
Ray Ban – Banishing the Rays of the sun in its initial meaning, is a prestigious company which is a true fashion icon today. They do a very good job in representing their company with the connotations of light, perfection, safety, coolness, power, elegance, mystery, authority, formal, elegant & prestigiousness.
Colour Palette Tools
Having covered how colours represent certain feelings, I’m am now going to explore the various tools that designers use when organising their colour palettes.
Colour Lovers is a great site as it allows a designer to search for a colour palette for anything they are currently working, so for example if you are making a logo for a recording studio, you would visit http://www.colourlovers.com and type in “recording studio” and it would provide you with colours most relevant to your search. This is perfect for any project you might be working on.
Another great colour tool is the Adobe Kuler which allows you to create a colour palette based upon one colour and uses certain tone ‘rules’ such as monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound and shades.It also allows you to upload an image and take certain areas of the image for their colour.